SEARCHING FOR GREEN
This sequence of my 10 favorite early spring images starts when there is still quite a lot of snow on the ground at the beginning of March and takes us up to the present moment at the end of the month when the snow is finally gone, streams are melting and flooding, and the greenery of the stalwart mosses, ferns, and lichens that were with us throughout the winter, hidden beneath the snow, are blazing in the almost colorless landscape.
I'm seeing these small beings with a new eye inspired by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a wonderful author who merges the indigenous vision of nature with the vision of a highly trained botanist. She has written a whole book about moss! (Scroll down past the first book on the page.)
In this interview with The Guardian, Robin says, "This is a time to take a lesson from mosses. What is it that has enabled them to persist for 350m years, through every kind of catastrophe, every climate change that’s ever happened on this planet, and what might we learn from that?” She lists the lessons “of being small, of giving more than you take, of working with natural law, sticking together. All the ways that they live I just feel are really poignant teachings for us right now.”
“Most people don’t really see plants or understand plants or what they give us,” Kimmerer explains, “so my act of reciprocity is, having been shown plants as gifts, as intelligences other than our own, as these amazing, creative beings – good lord, they can photosynthesise, that still blows my mind! – I want to help them become visible to people. People can’t understand the world as a gift unless someone shows them how it’s a gift.”
In closing I would like to share this quote from her book, “There is an ancient conversation going on between mosses and rocks, poetry to be sure. About light and shadow and the drift of continents. This is what has been called the "dialect of moss on stone — an interface of immensity and minuteness, of past and present, softness and hardness, stillness and vibrancy, yin and yang.” —Robin Wall Kimmerer, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses